“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.”

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is disheartening these days to watch the political show that passes for civic discourse: the numbingly ineffectual posturing of our elected leaders in the face of critical issues. The cheap shot, ignorance, hypocrisy and dishonesty seem to have replaced critical thinking, respect for an opposing view and the art of compromise in the halls of government.

The lack of integrity and honesty—the dereliction of leadership—is stunning, especially since it is a bipartisan failing. And yes, at MSCI we are more hopeful with the new composition of Congress. Unfortunately, the presidential political season now rushing at us threatens to derail some of the hints of positive legislative movement we see.

Perhaps I seem a bit gloomily reflective because this, as you know, is the last print issue of Forward, a publication I have been proud to have MSCI produce for the last decade. It has been a rare animal in its dedication to fair, accurate, thoughtful and useful journalism. We wanted to create a publication that would contribute to political discourse and problem solving, offer well-researched analysis of issues critical to your business and help you understand the startlingly fast-changing economic environment. Our aim has been to offer you a publication that will help you exceed your business objectives.

Fortunately, I believe we have surpassed that goal. I say “fortunately” because the print edition of Forward has built the foundation for its next incarnation—a unique package of useful information and analysis in digital form. As with so many publications these days, we see that the most effective medium for reaching you has shifted from print to digital. We are evolving our business model to help you adapt yours to our rapidly changing world.

I do not want to overuse the term “disruption,” but there is no question that technology, globalization, demographics, government and consolidation are tsunami-like forces challenging us each day. Our job at MSCI is to help you anticipate and cope with those challenges, whether through our invaluable Metals Activity Report, our award-winning Connecting the Dots political newsletter, original insights from our conference speakers or an evolving selection of stories and information in the Forward magazine tradition. Our promise is that we will continuously offer relevant material, perspective and guidance on the complex challenges that you confront each day. We will be broadening and strengthening our reach while maintaining our depth.

We are mindful, always, of our obligation to you: to act with the integrity that Ike understood as critical to real leadership. To give you the tools you need to be effective, forward-looking leaders. We cannot afford to indulge in the kind of hypocritical sniping and paralysis that has gripped Washington. We cannot afford to erode confidence and trust in American business, as members of Congress have eroded public esteem for their institution.

As Forward integrates into MSCI’s new digital communication strategy, its journalistic excellence will help us develop a new arsenal of critical thinking. We will proceed with the integrity that you have come to expect of us. For without intelligence and integrity, as Medal of Honor winner Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer told the Tubular conference in January, “We rise to a level of ignorance that is intolerable.”

We simply will not permit that. See you on the Internet.  

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